Grayson & Alleigh visit Disneyland!

8:39 PM

I just HAVE to start with that, as yet another phrase in my myriad of catch-phrases consists of always referring to common-place places and things as “pure Disney magic.” Welp, now I’ve actually visited the Magic Kingdom, and my sappy inner-child has rendered my jargon nonsensical.

Prior to this SoCal season I’d NEVER been to Disneyland (a phrase which has triggered many-a gasps, being such a whimsical Disney-lover and all). The closest I’ve ever come before would be my brief visit to the Animal Kingdom at the Disneyworld park when I was really little. I remember seeing Rafiki’s tree and some show where they electrocuted your butt to make it feel like bugs were crawling under you, but that’s about it. I’ve wanted to visit Disney properly for years but have never had the right opportunity until now.

Being Rennies, its hard to justify spending $300 on admission alone. Luckily, there is an obscenely large overlap between castmembers at Disney and at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, so our wonderful friend Crystal works for Disney and was able to sign us in under her employee pass. That way we received free admission and 30% off merchandise. Grayson had visited Disney a number of times in the past using this same method, and he was eager to share the experience with me this year.
Since I’d never been to Disneyland, I didn’t set a lot of hefty goals for what I wanted to do during the visit. I wanted to get an R2D2 Mickey hat and wear it gleefully as I followed veteran season-passholders, around the park like a hungry puppy.

Crystal brought the group first to the Star Tours area. Partially because she worked the opening crew for it and wanted the share the memories with all of us, and partly because I really wanted that R2D2 hat. It’s more of a virtual rollercoaster type of ride, and it features C3P0 accidentally stealing a ship with a rebel spy aboard from the Empire. Apparently they select a random person to be the rebel spy, take his/her photo and project it onto the screen. I was selected to be the spy, so a wanted poster picture of me with a big, stupid grin appeared. I was convinced that somehow everyone saw themselves on the screen, so I spent the entire ride trying to figure out how that was even accomplished. It wasn’t until after the ride that I realized that everyone saw me cheesing like a doofus.

The ride brilliantly let us out into the gift shop (thanks, Capitalism) where I promptly hunted for my R2D2 mickey hat and touched everything R2D2 related… further refueling my obsessive collection.

After that we met up with the rest of our group and went on a bunch of little rides, like Mr. Toad’s and the Hundred Acre Wood honey ride. I noticed that the characters Tigger, Eeyore and Pooh were doing pictures outside the ride, and like the giant sap I am, I couldn’t resist meeting them. The actor playing Pooh was clearly at the end of his/her shift and ended up reacting to my excitement with a Duggar side-hug. I feel kinda pathetic in saying so, but I felt like a kicked puppy for a little while after, and then got over it when we made it to the Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror.
The worst part is that later we saw Pooh giving everyone enthusiastic hugs and I got butthurt all over again
Tower of Terror!
I don’t even know how to describe the production value of the final parade or fireworks accurately. They were just insanely well-done and pristine. Hell, I don’t even know how to describe the production value of the entire PARK. Down to every last detail it’s absolutely incredible and immaculate.

Grayson and I went looking at the windows at Macy's after Christmas, and we both agreed these were a lot cooler

I had a magical day at the park my first time, but obviously I couldn’t see everything. So, I had my “second first trip” the following Tuesday.

Our second trip included a slightly different group of friends, and the priority of the day was rides in a specific order. We started with the Indiana Jones ride because our friend Mark and his daughter Lilia weren’t able to ride it on their last visit. After doing so many gentle rides on the first trip (and being a huge fan of thrill rides) I was completely blown away, it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a ride. The other two that blew my little thrill-seeking mind were the Hyperspace Mountain ride and the rollercoaster in the California Adventures park. The cool thing about that rollercoaster is that instead of creeping up slowly for the buildup, it just shoots off from 0 to 60mph in just a few seconds and it went on for a long time (compared to a lot of Six Flags rides I’m used to). We also did Splash Mountain, which ya know, for someone who hates getting wet… it was actually pretty fun and I dried off quickly. Lilia was right in the front and she got completely soaked, but was thrilled regardless.

We stayed for the fireworks again and they were just as breathtaking the second time. There was so much stuffed into these two trips that I don't know if I can even remember it all to write about it. You get the point though. Our trips to Disney this year were absolutely magical.
Grayson and Eeyore are sad that the Disney magic had to end for us for this season

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